Another Probation Poem

I sit in my car,

drinking three-day old Yuban.

A young man and woman

vape in the fog.

They look like aliens

breathing sustenance

before the invasion.

I walk in the office.

The receptionist wears

knee-high black boots

and a tight orange skirt.

I pay the Man.

He is there,

in the corner,

monologuing the Coke machine,

telling it about

the Columbus Day storm

he survived,

holding on to a tree.

The Coke machine nods.

Today is Columbus Day.

I walk out.

I simply

can’t take it.

Where is that invasion?

Where is the new Columbus for not only America,

but the world?

Wade ashore and plant that flag.

Convert or die.

I think we need it.

The invaders might even

have mercy.

There are woods

behind the office.

He should consider

walking into them

and never come out.

Sit down and return to earth.

One last honorable act.

It’s a hard thing to think

that about a fellow man.

The worst thought of my life,

a thought that reorders your cells.

What happened to my mercy?

It droppeth not from heaven.

The gentle rain is acid rain.

Mercy has walked the plank,

said Bob Dylan.

Why is Dick Cheney still alive and Prince is dead?

Write me a poem on that.

It’s all the harder because

the man looks Kurt Vonnegut

a week before he died.

Kurt loathed Columbus.

Kurt survived the fires of Dresden

in a meat locker.

This man is already dead…

dead man talking to a Coke machine.

(But perhaps not! He also says he wants to see the Fleetwood Mac tribute band coming to town. He’s collected enough cans and bottles. He wants to rock and roll. The probation officer doesn’t know if he will let him.)

Back in the car,

I pull Walt from

the glove department.

There will be something

in there I missed.

There always is.

The leaves of grass

always leave you wanting more.

I open at random and read:

A woman waits for me,

she contains all,

nothing is lacking.

I smile. I didn’t know

Walt wrote science fiction!

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